MJ firm owners charged with felony for Oregon extraction blast

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The owners of an Astoria, Oregon, marijuana processor were indicted in a county circuit court on charges of felony assault and misdemeanor reckless endangerment after their business experienced a butane-extraction explosion in October, seriously injuring a worker at the facility.

The Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis said he believes the indictment is the first Oregon state prosecution of a licensed butane hash oil facility involved in an explosion, The Daily Astorian reported.

Marquis charged in his indictment that William “Chris” West and Jason Oei “unlawfully and recklessly, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life,” caused serious injury to worker Jacob Magley.

Magley was severely burned when the butane gas that Higher Learning Concentrates used for cannabis extraction exploded. He ended up in a Portland burn ward for weeks.

Magley’s attorney claims West and Oei were dabbing hash oil and caused the explosion.

The Daily Astorian reported that Oei and West were each charged with one count of second-degree assault, a Class B felony worth up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both, among other charges.

Oei told the newspaper that Higher Level Concentrates is now defunct and the building has been condemned.

Last month, Oregon regulators fined Higher Level Concentrates $5,300 for the blast.